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Top 5 Free Knowledge-Base Platforms in 2021

According to the data, these are the best free knowledge-base software tools available. Most other articles give you a random or subjective ordering of “Best” software tools, but not here. This article is based on intensive research of more than 50 knowledge-base platforms. All features and company attributes were compared and contrasted to come up with these top 5 plus three runners up.

And who doesn't love free software? Whether it's help content software, open-source password managers, or free video editors without a watermark, free software solutions are a force to be reckoned with. Some of the very best software in a category can be totally free!

Now, remember, “Best” is actually a subjective statement. Depending on your needs, you may come up with a different selection of top free knowledge-base platforms. Due to the way the research was conducted, it is possible to layer on your own feature-specific importance weighting for each feature and attribute of these tools. A great recommendation: Take advantage of our custom knowledge base platforms survey so you can input your own importance rating for each feature.

We also have domain authority data which serves as a good indicator of overall popularity. If you think of any tools that we should have included in our comparison analysis let us know in the comments below.

We found 17 free knowledge-base platforms. We list the top five tools here, along with three runners up.

As of this writing, we are not incentivized in any way by any of these knowledge-base software companies. The data here is accurate as of April, 2021. Please see our original research publication on Knowledge Base Platforms that is always kept up-to-date.

So without further ado, we present to you our evidence-backed ordered listing of the top five free knowledge-base platforms:

  1. Confluence
  2. MindTouch
  3. UseResponse
  4. Teamwork Desk
  5. ReadMe
  6. Runners up:

  7. HelpSite
  8. HelpDocs
  9. HelpNDoc

Top Five Free Knowledge Base Platforms


Confluence


Confluence

Confluence Comparison Details

Free trial: Fully Free

Pricing: Free

Feature summary: Internal and External Content Collaboration

Age of Software/Company: 17.6 Yrs

Industry thought leadership blog: Click to visit blog.

Business Score: 6.76

Software Score: 111.5

Distinctive features:

  • Voice Integration

  • Amazon S3
  • Bitbucket
  • Facebook
  • JIRA
  • OpsGenie
  • Zapier
  • Zendesk

  • Search Function
  • Public Facing / Accessible Self Help
  • Flexible Hierarchy
  • Rich Text Editor
  • Attach Files to Articles
  • Multiple Business Roles (SMEs, Developers, Admins, Editors, etc.)
  • Easy Article Linking
  • Analytics for Providing Insights
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Application Programming Interface Enhancement
  • Mobile Support
  • Version / Revision Control
  • Viewer / User Controls
  • Track Article Visits
  • Real Time Article Collaboration / Synchronous Editing
  • Drag and Drop Building Tool
  • Internal Employee Knowledge Base
  • Workflow Management
  • Article Drafting After Publication
  • Saves History of Article Changes
  • Incremental Search / Real-time Suggestions
  • Built-in Backup & Restore / Rollback
  • Project Management Features
  • Built-in Revision Workflow
  • Track Searches
  • Article Tags
  • Full HTML/CSS Customization
  • Article Public Comments / Discussion
  • Allows Article Voting / Rating
  • Design Theme Library
  • Single Sign-On Support
  • Multiple Format Import / Export
  • Self-Hosting Available
  • Support Ticket System
  • Live Chat Feature
  • Domain Path White-Label Option
  • Author / Editor Article Commentary
  • Article Suggestions on Contact Forms
  • XML Format Support
  • 3rd Party Custom Widgets
  • Social Media Integration
  • Language Machine-Translation
  • Help Content Optimized for SEO
  • Search Synonyms
  • Multiple Brands in One Account
  • Built-in Glossary
  • Remote Configuration and Support
  • Voice Integration

  • Confluence recent versions have become more of an integrated collaboration platform. To add a caption to an image user must use a workaround, since there is no straightforward way provided. Confluence has many add-ons and provides great support.




    MindTouch


    MindTouch

    MindTouch Comparison Details

    Free trial: 30 Days

    Pricing: Free

    Feature summary: Smart Knowledge Base, Reliable Reporting

    Age of Software/Company: 16.2 Yrs

    Industry thought leadership blog: Click to visit blog.

    Business Score: 6.31

    Software Score: 110.5

  • Adobe Omniture
  • Five9
  • Gainsight PX
  • Genesys
  • Hotjar
  • Mixpanel
  • Pendo
  • Salesforce
  • SAP
  • Zendesk

  • Search Function
  • Public Facing / Accessible Self Help
  • Flexible Hierarchy
  • Rich Text Editor
  • Attach Files to Articles
  • Multiple Business Roles (SMEs, Developers, Admins, Editors, etc.)
  • Easy Article Linking
  • Analytics for Providing Insights
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Application Programming Interface Enhancement
  • Mobile Support
  • Version / Revision Control
  • Viewer / User Controls
  • Track Article Visits
  • Real Time Article Collaboration / Synchronous Editing
  • Drag and Drop Building Tool
  • Internal Employee Knowledge Base
  • Workflow Management
  • Article Drafting After Publication
  • Saves History of Article Changes
  • Incremental Search / Real-time Suggestions
  • Built-in Backup & Restore / Rollback
  • Project Management Features
  • Built-in Revision Workflow
  • Track Searches
  • Article Tags
  • Full HTML/CSS Customization
  • Article Public Comments / Discussion
  • Allows Article Voting / Rating
  • Design Theme Library
  • Single Sign-On Support
  • Multiple Format Import / Export
  • Self-Hosting Available
  • Support Ticket System
  • Live Chat Feature
  • Domain Path White-Label Option
  • Author / Editor Article Commentary
  • Article Suggestions on Contact Forms
  • XML Format Support
  • 3rd Party Custom Widgets
  • Social Media Integration
  • Help Content Optimized for SEO
  • Search Synonyms
  • Multiple Brands in One Account
  • Built-in Glossary
  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Searchable PDF Attachments

  • MindTouch allows streamlining of processes like onboarding. It provides an easy format for editing. Some users feel the SharePoint app is quite complicated. There is work space and online storage, as a cloud service.




    UseResponse


    UseResponse

    UseResponse Comparison Details

    Free trial: Fully Free

    Pricing: $39 / Month

    Feature summary: Feedback, Knowledge Base, Help Desk, Live Chat Software

    Age of Software/Company: 9.3 Yrs

    Industry thought leadership blog: Click to visit blog.

    Business Score: 6.22

    Software Score: 108

  • Google Analytics
  • JIRA
  • Salesforce
  • Slack
  • Zapier

  • Search Function
  • Public Facing / Accessible Self Help
  • Flexible Hierarchy
  • Rich Text Editor
  • Attach Files to Articles
  • Multiple Business Roles (SMEs, Developers, Admins, Editors, etc.)
  • Easy Article Linking
  • Analytics for Providing Insights
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Application Programming Interface Enhancement
  • Mobile Support
  • Version / Revision Control
  • Viewer / User Controls
  • Track Article Visits
  • Real Time Article Collaboration / Synchronous Editing
  • Drag and Drop Building Tool
  • Internal Employee Knowledge Base
  • Workflow Management
  • Article Drafting After Publication
  • Saves History of Article Changes
  • Incremental Search / Real-time Suggestions
  • Built-in Backup & Restore / Rollback
  • Project Management Features
  • Built-in Revision Workflow
  • Track Searches
  • Article Tags
  • Full HTML/CSS Customization
  • Article Public Comments / Discussion
  • Allows Article Voting / Rating
  • Design Theme Library
  • Single Sign-On Support
  • Multiple Format Import / Export
  • Self-Hosting Available
  • Support Ticket System
  • Live Chat Feature
  • Domain Path White-Label Option
  • Author / Editor Article Commentary
  • Article Suggestions on Contact Forms
  • XML Format Support
  • 3rd Party Custom Widgets
  • Social Media Integration
  • Language Machine-Translation
  • Help Content Optimized for SEO
  • Search Synonyms
  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning

  • UseResponse Platform is versatile and provides effective customer support. The software makes it easy for customers to connect / comment. It can be a challenging program to learn, if you aren't familiar with computer service systems.




    Teamwork Desk


    Teamwork Desk

    Teamwork Desk Comparison Details

    Free trial: Fully Free

    Pricing: Free

    Feature summary: Ticket Management, Reports, Help Docs

    Age of Software/Company: 6.1 Yrs

    Industry thought leadership blog: Click to visit blog.

    Business Score: 6.4

    Software Score: 101

  • Chatify
  • ChurnZero
  • Easy Insight
  • Elevio
  • Float
  • FreshDesk
  • Google G Suite
  • Hubspot
  • Integromat
  • PieSync
  • Slack
  • Zapier
  • Zendesk
  • Zoho

  • Search Function
  • Public Facing / Accessible Self Help
  • Flexible Hierarchy
  • Rich Text Editor
  • Attach Files to Articles
  • Multiple Business Roles (SMEs, Developers, Admins, Editors, etc.)
  • Easy Article Linking
  • Analytics for Providing Insights
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Application Programming Interface Enhancement
  • Mobile Support
  • Version / Revision Control
  • Viewer / User Controls
  • Track Article Visits
  • Real Time Article Collaboration / Synchronous Editing
  • Drag and Drop Building Tool
  • Internal Employee Knowledge Base
  • Workflow Management
  • Article Drafting After Publication
  • Saves History of Article Changes
  • Incremental Search / Real-time Suggestions
  • Built-in Backup & Restore / Rollback
  • Project Management Features
  • Built-in Revision Workflow
  • Track Searches
  • Article Tags
  • Article Public Comments / Discussion
  • Allows Article Voting / Rating
  • Design Theme Library
  • Single Sign-On Support
  • Multiple Format Import / Export
  • Self-Hosting Available
  • Support Ticket System
  • Live Chat Feature
  • Domain Path White-Label Option
  • Author / Editor Article Commentary
  • Article Suggestions on Contact Forms
  • XML Format Support
  • 3rd Party Custom Widgets
  • Social Media Integration
  • Search Synonyms
  • Multiple Brands in One Account

  • While Teamwork Desk has a pretty big learning curve with the many comprehensive features, the support staff are quite helpful. One such feature that users like is: setting project tasks directly from an email.




    ReadMe


    ReadMe

    ReadMe Comparison Details

    Free trial: Fully Free

    Pricing: Free

    Feature summary: Enterprise ReadMe for Complex Projects

    Age of Software/Company: 7.6 Yrs

    Industry thought leadership blog: Click to visit blog.

    Business Score: 6.46

    Software Score: 95.5

    Distinctive features:

    • Voice Integration

  • Google Analytics
  • Intercom
  • Localize
  • Slack
  • Transifex
  • TypeKit
  • Zendesk

  • Search Function
  • Public Facing / Accessible Self Help
  • Flexible Hierarchy
  • Rich Text Editor
  • Multiple Business Roles (SMEs, Developers, Admins, Editors, etc.)
  • Easy Article Linking
  • Analytics for Providing Insights
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Application Programming Interface Enhancement
  • Mobile Support
  • Version / Revision Control
  • Viewer / User Controls
  • Track Article Visits
  • Real Time Article Collaboration / Synchronous Editing
  • Drag and Drop Building Tool
  • Workflow Management
  • Saves History of Article Changes
  • Incremental Search / Real-time Suggestions
  • Built-in Backup & Restore / Rollback
  • Project Management Features
  • Built-in Revision Workflow
  • Track Searches
  • Article Tags
  • Full HTML/CSS Customization
  • Article Public Comments / Discussion
  • Allows Article Voting / Rating
  • Design Theme Library
  • Single Sign-On Support
  • Self-Hosting Available
  • Support Ticket System
  • Live Chat Feature
  • Domain Path White-Label Option
  • Author / Editor Article Commentary
  • XML Format Support
  • 3rd Party Custom Widgets
  • Social Media Integration
  • Language Machine-Translation
  • Help Content Optimized for SEO
  • Search Synonyms
  • Built-in Glossary
  • Voice Integration

  • While Teamwork Desk has a pretty big learning curve with the many comprehensive features, the support staff are quite helpful. One such feature that users like is: setting project tasks directly from an email.



    Top Free Knowledge Base Platforms – Runners Up


    HelpSite


    HelpSite

    HelpSite Comparison Details

    Free trial: Fully Free

    Pricing: Free

    Feature summary: Make a Knowledge Base Support Center – for Free (Knowledge Base and Support Center Software)

    Age of Software/Company: 5.6 Yrs

    Business Score: 5.77

    Software Score: 84

  • Gmail
  • Groove
  • Help Scout
  • Olark
  • Salesforce
  • Tawk.to
  • Zendesk
  • Zopim

  • Search Function
  • Public Facing / Accessible Self Help
  • Flexible Hierarchy
  • Rich Text Editor
  • Attach Files to Articles
  • Multiple Business Roles (SMEs, Developers, Admins, Editors, etc.)
  • Easy Article Linking
  • Analytics for Providing Insights
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Application Programming Interface Enhancement
  • Mobile Support
  • Version / Revision Control
  • Viewer / User Controls
  • Track Article Visits
  • Real Time Article Collaboration / Synchronous Editing
  • Drag and Drop Building Tool
  • Internal Employee Knowledge Base
  • Workflow Management
  • Incremental Search / Real-time Suggestions
  • Built-in Backup & Restore / Rollback
  • Project Management Features
  • Built-in Revision Workflow
  • Track Searches
  • Full HTML/CSS Customization
  • Single Sign-On Support
  • Multiple Format Import / Export
  • Self-Hosting Available
  • Support Ticket System
  • Live Chat Feature
  • Domain Path White-Label Option
  • Article Suggestions on Contact Forms
  • 3rd Party Custom Widgets
  • Language Machine-Translation
  • Help Content Optimized for SEO
  • Search Synonyms



  • HelpDocs


    HelpDocs

    HelpDocs Comparison Details

    Free trial: 15 Days

    Pricing: $49 / Month

    Feature summary: Self-Service Knowledge Base to Educate Your Customers

    Age of Software/Company: 4.7 Yrs

    Industry thought leadership blog: Click to visit blog.

    Business Score: 4.34

    Software Score: 103.5

  • Belco
  • Chatra
  • Crisp
  • Disqus
  • Doorbell
  • Drift
  • Elevio
  • Feedier
  • Front
  • FullStory
  • Gainsight PX
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Chrome
  • Gorgias
  • GoSquared
  • Hotjar
  • Hyperping
  • Intercom
  • Kommunicate
  • Lighthouse
  • LiveChat
  • Lucidchart
  • Segment
  • Slack
  • Smooch
  • Statuspage

  • Search Function
  • Public Facing / Accessible Self Help
  • Flexible Hierarchy
  • Rich Text Editor
  • Attach Files to Articles
  • Multiple Business Roles (SMEs, Developers, Admins, Editors, etc.)
  • Easy Article Linking
  • Analytics for Providing Insights
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Application Programming Interface Enhancement
  • Mobile Support
  • Version / Revision Control
  • Viewer / User Controls
  • Track Article Visits
  • Real Time Article Collaboration / Synchronous Editing
  • Drag and Drop Building Tool
  • Internal Employee Knowledge Base
  • Workflow Management
  • Article Drafting After Publication
  • Saves History of Article Changes
  • Incremental Search / Real-time Suggestions
  • Built-in Backup & Restore / Rollback
  • Project Management Features
  • Built-in Revision Workflow
  • Article Tags
  • Full HTML/CSS Customization
  • Article Public Comments / Discussion
  • Allows Article Voting / Rating
  • Design Theme Library
  • Single Sign-On Support
  • Multiple Format Import / Export
  • Self-Hosting Available
  • Support Ticket System
  • Live Chat Feature
  • Domain Path White-Label Option
  • Author / Editor Article Commentary
  • Article Suggestions on Contact Forms
  • XML Format Support
  • 3rd Party Custom Widgets
  • Social Media Integration
  • Language Machine-Translation
  • Help Content Optimized for SEO
  • Search Synonyms

  • There’s been a few bugs with some of the integrations but HelpDocs provides great support. It’s a unique application and has an instant reply tool that customers like.




    HelpNDoc


    HelpNDoc

    HelpNDoc Comparison Details

    Free trial: Fully Free

    Pricing: Free

    Feature summary: Word Processor, WYSIWYG, Multiformat

    Age of Software/Company: 14.8 Yrs

    Industry thought leadership blog: Click to visit blog.

    Business Score: 6.19

    Software Score: 73

  • Search Function
  • Public Facing / Accessible Self Help
  • Flexible Hierarchy
  • Rich Text Editor
  • Attach Files to Articles
  • Multiple Business Roles (SMEs, Developers, Admins, Editors, etc.)
  • Easy Article Linking
  • Analytics for Providing Insights
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Application Programming Interface Enhancement
  • Mobile Support
  • Version / Revision Control
  • Viewer / User Controls
  • Real Time Article Collaboration / Synchronous Editing
  • Drag and Drop Building Tool
  • Workflow Management
  • Article Drafting After Publication
  • Saves History of Article Changes
  • Built-in Backup & Restore / Rollback
  • Project Management Features
  • Article Tags
  • Full HTML/CSS Customization
  • Article Public Comments / Discussion
  • Design Theme Library
  • Multiple Format Import / Export
  • Domain Path White-Label Option
  • Author / Editor Article Commentary
  • XML Format Support
  • Social Media Integration
  • Language Machine-Translation
  • Help Content Optimized for SEO
  • Multiple Brands in One Account
  • Built-in Glossary

  • Although there is a bit of a learning curve with HelpNDoc, this is an effective, single-source help and documentation authoring environment. Powerful features simplify the process: an advanced project analyzer to fix common mistakes, a live spell checker, conditional content generation based on topic status, output format or custom tags.



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